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Civil Commitment of Older Persons 

Civil Commitment of Older Persons
Civil Commitment of Older Persons

Sara J. Brady

and Eric Y. Drogin

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date: 22 February 2020

Older persons experience higher rates of psychiatric illness than the general population. Consequently, they are disproportionately affected by issues at the intersection of psychiatry and law. Case law, statutes, and regulations that address involuntary hospitalization do not typically address the unique challenges faced by this population in terms of available resources, cognitive styles, or manifestations of age-related or other psychiatric disorders. This chapter reviews the scope of civil commitment issues, legal standards for due process and compelled treatment criteria, forensic assessment techniques, cognitive screening, and opportunities for finding common ground with representatives of the legal community. Maintaining currency with requirements of each of the stakeholder professions will provide the best means of advancing practice in this critical and expanding area.

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